The More You Do, The More You Make — Even if its not needed

Sad but true. NY Times and the Baltimore Sun documented the behavior of a Baltimore Cardiologist and Abbott laboratories. Among other things:

Dr. Mark Midei, had inserted 30 of the company’s cardiac stents in a single day in August 2008, “which is the biggest day I remember hearing about,” an executive wrote in a celebratory e-mail.


an Abbott sales representative spent $2,159 to buy a whole, slow-smoked pig, peach cobbler and other fixings for a barbecue dinner at Dr. Midei’s home


Their report, provided in advance to The New York Times, concludes that Dr. Midei “may have implanted 585 stents which were medically unnecessary” from 2007 to 2009. Medicare paid $3.8 million of the $6.6 million charged for those procedures.

And so on. Including kickbacks from St. Joseph Hospital in Baltimore to Dr. Midei’s practice. Literally hundreds of patients were so treated. Where were his “ethical” colleagues? hospital oversight committees?

Medicynical Note: No surprises here, money makes people do funny things. Other similar cases elsewhere are noted.

What in the world has happened to my profession?

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